Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#1 - How The Grinch Stole Christmas

My Top 5 Christmas Cartoons

Over the Christmas holiday I thought I would post my favorite Christmas Cartoons and/or Animated Specials.  In keeping with the theme of this blog, I made cards of them from their "rookie" season.  

My number 1 pick is The Grinch. Not the dreadful Ron Howard movie either. The original Boris Karloff narrated animated classic. It made it's TV debut in 1966. I decided to go with the Topps football card from that year. It just seemed more appropriate.

Merry Christmas to all. I will start posting again after the New Year. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

#2 - Hardrock, Coco and Joe

My Top 5 Christmas Cartoons

Over the Christmas holiday I thought I would post my favorite Christmas Cartoons and/or Animated Specials.  In keeping with the theme of this blog, I made cards of them from their "rookie" season.  

For my number 2 pick I went local.  If you grew up in Chicago, you know this animated short very well. It was shown on Ray Rayner and Garfield Goose during the holiday season on WGN TV. If you are not from Chicago it is quite possible that you have never heard of Ray Rayner or Garfield Goose, let alone Hardrock, Coco and Joe.  I will just let you google them.

Although this short was shown in Chicago starting in 1956 it was actually made in 1951 so I made 3 1951 Topps cards of the trio. Sorry about the quality, I was forced to use video stills. Below is the full video. It's only 3 minutes long but it brings back great childhood memories.

Friday, December 20, 2013

#3 - A Charlie Brown Christmas

My Top 5 Christmas Cartoons

Over the Christmas holiday I thought I would post my favorite Christmas Cartoons and/or Animated Specials.  In keeping with the theme of this blog, I made cards of them from their "rookie" season.  

For number 3 I returned to the more traditional. Who doesn't love "A Charlie Brown Christmas"?  It debuted in 1965 so I used a 1965-66 Topps Hockey card format. Below is the clip I stole this picture from.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

#4 - The Spirit of Christmas

My Top 5 Christmas Cartoons

Over the Christmas holiday I thought I would post my favorite Christmas Cartoons and/or Animated Specials.  In keeping with the theme of this blog, I made cards of them from their "rookie" season.  

At number 4 we already have a kinda strange one. This was a "Christmas Card"  Trey Stone and Matt Parker were contracted to create for a friend in 1995. It led to the long-running Comedy Central series "South Park".

Above is my 1995 Topps card version and below is the whole cartoon. It's only about 5 minutes long and if you haven't seen it, it is totally worth watching. Warning: not safe for work.

Monday, December 16, 2013

#5 - Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

My Top 5 Christmas Cartoons

Over the Christmas holiday I thought I would post my favorite Christmas Cartoons and/or Animated Specials.  In keeping with the theme of this blog, I made cards of them from their "rookie" season.  

Number 5 starts out with a fairly common favorite. Rudolph was first aired in 1964 and here he is on a 1964 Topps baseball card. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

1964 Topps NL Stolen Base Leaders: Wills, Aaron, Pinson

After setting the modern-day stolen base record in 1962, Maury Wills' league leading 40 stolen bases in 1963 was somewhat a let down. It was still nine more than his nearest NL competitor.  

In 1963 Hank Aaron joined what was once the very exclusive 30/30 club. Up until 1963 it had only 2 members, Willie Mays (1956 and 1957) and Ken Williams of the 1922 St. Louis Browns. Hank Aaron stole a career high 31 bases in 1963. Aaron also led the league in Homers, RBIs and Runs scored in 1963.

In 1963, the speedy Vada Pinson led the league in triple and in base hits but was 3rd in stolen bases with 27.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

1964 Topps AL Stolen Base Leaders: Aparicio, Hinton, Wood, Snyder

In his 1st season in an Orioles uniform, Luis Aparicio continued his dominance on the base paths. For the 8th consecutive year Aparicio led the AL in stolen bases. His 40 swipes were 15 more than the second place finisher.

Chuck Hinton was an outfielder by trade but was used in every defensive position except pitcher during his career. What he lacked in the field he made up for at the plate and on the base paths. In 1963 he had 15 homers and 25 stolen bases.

Jake Wood and Russ Snyder tied for 3rd with 18 stolen bases each. For Russ Snyder, it was a career high, For Jake Wood it was his lowest total yet in his 3 years in the Majors.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

1964 Topps NL Leading Firemen: McDaniel, Perranoski, Baldschun

For the first time The Sporting News awarded their Reliever of the Year award to repeat winners. Both the AL winner and the NL winner had been won the award before and coincidentally both won it on different teams. In the AL Stu Miller won for the Orioles after winning the award as a Giant in 1961. In the NL it was Lindy McDaniel of the Cubs who had won the 1960 prize as a Cardinal.

Also repeating in second place was Ron Perranoski of the Dodgers. Once again it appears that the writers' votes were based strictly on saves only as McDaniel had 22 saves and a 13-7 record for the Cubs while Perranoski had 21 saves with a 16-3 record for the Dodgers. Both pitchers had 75 K's but Perranoski had a lower ERA.

Tied for 3rd place was Jack Baldschun and Roy Face with 16 saves each. Baldschun earned his way onto this fake card by winning 11 games in 1963 compared to only 3 wins for Face.

Friday, December 6, 2013

1964 Topps AL Leading Firemen: Miller, Radatz and Dailey

In 1963 Stu Miller was named The Sporting News Fireman of the Year. This was originally said to be given to the player with the most Saves and Relief Wins but was voted on by the writers and thus subjective. In 1963 Miller led the league in saves with 27 and had 5 wins. Dick Radatz had 25 saves and 15 wins, all in relief. It appears as though the 1963 award was given to the player strictly with the most saves. Dick Radatz, the 1962 recipient of the award, had the the better overall record for a reliever. Radatz also had more strikeouts and a lower ERA. 

There were 3 pitchers tied for 3rd with 21 saves, Bill Dailey of the Twins, Hoyt Wilhelm from the White Sox, and John Wyatt of the A's. Of the 3 Bill Dailey had the best overall record at 6-3 with 72 K's and a 1.99 ERA. That was enough to earn him the 3rd spot on this fake card.

Wilhelm was 5-8 with 111 K's and a 2.64 ERA and Wyatt was 6-4 with 81 K's and a 3.13 ERA.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

1977 Topps Rookies: Page, Henderson, Rozema, Bannister

After switching to a single series in 1974, Topps did a poor job of  getting star rookies onto cards their rookie season. in 1977, eight players received Rookie of the Year consideration, only 3 made it into the Topps set for that year

In my last post I created a 1977 card that never was for the AL ROY, Eddie Murray who was conspicuously missing from the set. For this post I am creating a single rookie card for 4 others who received Rookie of the Year votes but were left out by Topps. The sad truth is, other than the Hall of Famers at the top of the ballot the rest were pretty forgettable. 

I don't want to give the wrong impression, all of these players had respectable baseball careers ranging from 6-15 years. They were just, well, forgettable. Bump Wills had the notoriety of being Maury Wills' son. Floyd Bannister was the only one to play in an All Star game. Just once and it was the same year he led the league in strike outs, then followed it up in 1983 as part of the "Winning Ugly" White Sox. 

Speed apparently played a big part in ROY voting. Four ROY candidates had double-digit steals. Dawson had 21, Wills had 28, Mitchell Page had 42 and Gene Richards had 56.

The 3 players who were included in the 1977 set appeared on 2 cards. Gene Richards shared a card with the NL Rookie of the Year Andre Dawson.

Bump Wills was also included on a multiplayer rookie card.

Monday, December 2, 2013

1977 Topps Eddie Murray

 In 1977 Eddie Murray and Andre Dawson were the Rookies of the Year. Both went on to be enshrined in Cooperstown.  Its not often that both AL and NL Rookies of the Year land in the Hall of Fame. 

In 1956 it was Luis Aparicio and Frank Robinson.

In 1967 we had Rod Carew and Tom Seaver.

And the most recent is Eddie Murray and Andre Dawson in 1977. The 2001 ROY's Ichiro and Albert Pujols, look like they have a pretty good chance but that is a fairly long drought. 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

1970 Topps Carl Yastrzemski All Star MVP

Going Horizontal

The A.L. clung to a 4 run tie into the 12th inning of the 1970 All Star Game. Then Pete Rose barreled over Ray Fosse to break the tie in front of the home crowd to give the Nationals the win.

Yaz went 4 for 6 in the game. He scored a run and drove in another. He was the 2nd All Star game MVP to play for the losing team. Brooks Robinson was the first in 1966 and no player has accomplished that feat since.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Video Checklist - Series 19

Hey Nineteen. Never thought I would make this many cards. But here they are, my nineteen series of Card That Never Were. All 25 of them in 2 1/2 minutes.

Monday, November 25, 2013

1961 Topps Checklist - Cards That Never Were - 19th Series

This was a quick 25. One remaining  1963 Leader card, the World Series cards and the 1971 All Star cards that never were. For my checklists I continued using the 1961 style and some famous baseball battles. Here is Roger Clemens hurling Mike Piazza's broken bat at him during the 2000 World Series.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : The Managers

1971 Topps Gil Hodges All-Star

Gil Hodges was one of the few managers I can recall that came to a team via the trade. He was aquired by the Mets in a trade that sent pitcher Bill Denehy to the Washingtin Senators. Most recently Ozzie Guillen was "traded" to the Marlins by the White Sox. Before that Lou Piniella went to the Rays in a trade that sent Randy Winn to the Mariners and in the 70's the A's Charlie Finley traded Chuck Tanner to the Pirates for an aging Manny Sanguillen.

1971 Topps Earl Weaver All-Star

In his 1st of 4 All Star games as a manager, Weaver took the NL to 12 innings before losing 5-4. In 1971 he would lead the AL to their only All Star victory from 1963-1983. In 1972 he would take the NL into extra innings again before losing again. If he were a hockey coach he would be 1-1-2 getting 4 out of 8 possible points.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : American League Battery

1971 Topps Jim Palmer All-Star

1970 was Jim Palmer's 1st All Star game. He would pitch in 6 All Star games over his career starting in 4 of them. In 1970, both he and NL starter Seaver began the game with 3 scoreless innings. Palmer gave up a walk and a single in the 2nd but stranded the runners then mowed down Rusty Staub, Willie Mays and Dick Allen in order in the 3rd.

1971 Topps Bill Freehan All-Star

Bill Freehan was selected to the All Star team 11 times in his 15 year career. He was the starting All Star catcher 7 consecutive seasons from 1966-1972. He lined out to center in his only at bat in 1970. In the bottom of the 5th he was replaced by Ray Fosse. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : National League Battery

1971 Topps Tom Seaver All-Star

Tom Seaver was selected to 12 All Star teams during his career. In 1970 he made his only All Star start. He pitched 3 near perfect innings. He struck out 4, walked no-one and gave up only 1 hit to the eventual All Star MVP, Carl Yastrzemski. In the 1st inning Yaz singled to center but was stranded at 1st when Seaver struck out Frank Robinson then got Boog Powell on an infield pop up.

1971 Topps Johnny Bench All-Star

In 1970 Johnny Bench was the catcher in his 2nd of what would be 9 consecutive All Start starts. He played in 14 Mid Season Classics, 10 as a starter. Although he hit .357 in All Star play, he went 0 for 3 in 1970, striking out all 3 times. On the bright side he threw out pinch-runner Tommy Harper. Harper was the 1st ever Milwaukee Brewer All Star. Harper came in to run for Harmon Killebrew in the 5th and was thrown out trying to steal 2nd.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : American League Infield

1971 Topps Boog Powell All-Star

Boog Powell was 2nd in MVP voting in 1969 and was the AL MVP in 1970. His dominance didn't cross over into the 1970 All Star game, though. He went 0 for 3 batting clean-up for the AL.

1971 Topps Davey Johnson All-Star

The Orioles' Gold Glove 2nd baseman, Davey Johnson was selected to his 3rd All Star game and his 1st as a starter in 1970. I always remember him being referred to as "Davey" yet Topps always listed him as Dave well past his playing days and into his managerial years.

1971 Topps Luis Aparicio All-Star

Luis Aparicio hit a career high .313 in 1970. He also won his 9th and final Gold Glove that year. He was traded to the Red Sox after the 1970 season. The White Sox retired his number in 1984, the year he was voted into the Hall of Fame.

1971 Topps Harmon Killebrew All-Star

Killebrew was one of only 3 AL starters to get a hit in the 1970 All Star game. The Killer had an impressive .308 batting average in his 13 All Star game appearances.

Friday, November 15, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : National League Infield

1971 Topps Dick Allen All-Star

In his only season in St. Louis, Dick Allen was selected to his 4th All Star game. Allen came to the Cardinals in a 6 player trade that famously included Curt Flood. Flood refused to report which in turn ushered in the Free Agent era.

1971 Topps Glenn Beckert All-Star

In his 2nd All Star appearance, and his 1st start, Glenn Beckert was 0 for 2. In his 4 career All Star games Beckert was hitless in 7 plate appearances.

1971 Topps Don Kessinger All-Star

Although known more for his glove than his bat, Kessinger went 2 for 2 in the 1970 Mid-Season Classic. He singled to center twice, once in the 2nd and again in the 5th.

1971 Topps Tony Perez All-Star

Although most of his career was spent on 1st, Perez was moved to 3rd to make room for Lee May's bat. When May was traded to the Astros, Perez resumed his role as 1st baseman.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : American League Outfield

1971 Topps Frank Robinson All-Star

Robinson started the game in right field then moved to left in the 5th to make room for Tony Oliva, then was replaced by Willie Horton in the bottom of the 6th. For the most part he was a non-factor in the game, striking out twice and grounding out. In the field, only one ball was hit to him, a fly-out off the bat of Dick Allen in the bottom of the first.

1971 Topps Carl Yastrzemski All-Star

Yaz, on the other hand went 4 for 6 with an RBI and a run scored. He ended up being the MVP despite losing to the NL. He was the 2nd All Star game MVP to play for the losing team. Brooks Robinson was the first in 1966 and no player has accomplished that feat since.

1971 Topps Frank Howard All-Star

1970 was Frank Howard's 3rd consecutive start in the All Star outfield as well as his third consecutive 40+ HR, 100+ RBI season. His All Star game record is not quite as impressive. He had only one hit in 4 All Star games. But it was an impressive hit, a solo homer in front of his home crowd at the newly renamed Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in 1969. In the 1970 All Star game he struck out and popped out in 2 plate appearances.

Monday, November 11, 2013

1971 Topps All Star Cards : National League Outfield

The 1970 All Star game was one for the ages. It featured 19 Hall of Famers (21 if you count AL Manager Earl Weaver and NL Coach Leo Durocher). It went 12 innings and ended on Pete Rose's epic (and controversial) collision with Ray Fosse. Around the All Star break last season I created this card to commemorate game:

Topps not only didn't have a card in its 1971 set to commemorate the 1970 All Star game, It also didn't have All Star cards. So just as I did for the earlier years that Topps omitted the All Star cards from their set, I just have to create my own:

1971 Topps Hank Aaron All-Star

1970 was a mediocre year for Hank Aaron. He had 1 homer above his career average, had 5 RBIs more than his average, but batted 7 points below his career average. In MVP voting he came in 17th place which was his worst showing since his rookie season. But a mediocre year for Aaron would be a career year for most Major Leaguers. Which is why he was selected to his 20th consecutive All Star game in 1970. 

1971 Topps Willie Mays All-Star

Another fan favorite, appearing in his 21st consecutive All Star game, was Willie Mays. Although he was a .307 lifetime hitter in All Star play, Mays would go 0 for 3 with a strike out and 2 foul-outs.

1971 Topps Rico Carty All-Star

Rico Carty hit a league leading .366 in 1970. The next closest was Joe Torre with .325.  Carty made his only All Star appearance that year. In 2 plate appearances, he drew a walk and grounded out.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Video Checklist - Series 18

This Series was a mash up of several running themes. It started with 1967 All Star cards that never were. I also had some error card corrections, fantasy football cards,  horizontal cards and leader cards that never were. I also included some 2013 playoff versions of the 1983 Topps "Super Veteran" subset.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

1961 Topps Checklist - Cards That Never Were - 18th Series

I've gotten a little behind on my checklists. I'm actually already 8 cards into the next series. As you can see I've decided to keep with the 1961 design and I'm going to use the photo area for some classic brawls. On my very first checklist I used Michael Barrett's sucker-punch on A.J. Pierzynski, and on my 17th series I used Robin Ventura's ill-advised charge on Nolan Ryan. 

For my 18th Series I used a photo of Juan Marichal and catcher Johnny Roseboro's 1965 brawl with Sandy Koufax in the background trying to break it up.  Roseboro was upset about some earlier chin music served up to teammates, Ron Fairly and Maury Wills. In retaliation he returned the ball unnecessarily close to Marichal's head. After Roseboro's second "inside" throw-back Marichal brought his bat down over his head. This resulted in a bench clearing brawl, 14 stiches for Johnny Roseboro, and 8 games off for Juan Marichal.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

1966 Topps Style 2013 World Series Champs

My goal during the Series was to mimic the style of the Topps World Series cards. Topps began making World Series cards in 1960 but stopped after 1965. Generally Topps included a card for each game and another celebration card. That meant if the series went past 5 games, I'd either have to skip ahead from 1965 to 1967 or take a few liberties and create World Series cards in the style of 1966. I chose the latter.

Going into the 2013 World Series, there were no real surprises. It was the 3rd time in last 10 years that the Red Sox won the pennant. It was the 4th time in the past 10 for the Cardinals. None the less it promised to be an exciting match-up. With perfect 20/20 hindsight, I'd say it delivered.

In Game 1 Jon Lester put on a pitching clinic. He went 7 2/3 innings, surrendering 5 hits, 1 walk and no runs while striking out 8. Meanwhile the Cardinals' questionable fielding allowed the Red Sox to take Game 1 by a score of 8-1.

In Game 2 it was the Red Sox's fielding errors that allowed the Cardinals to even up the series.

Game 3 ended on an errant throw to 3rd that led to an obstruction call which gave the Cardinals the winning run to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

In Game 4 the Cardinals left 8 men stranded on base and had their 9th inning rally cut short by a pick off at 1st. This was the first time in history that any post-season game ended on a pick off. The Red Sox tied the Series up at 2 games a piece.

Jon Lester pitched another gem in Game 5, but the big question was why Adam Wainwright didn't pitch around David Ortiz. Ortiz was hitting .733 in the Series while the rest of the team was hitting just over .150 collectively. The Sox took the lead 3 games to 2.

In Game 6 the Cardinals pitching staff finally got the message "Do not to pitch to Big Papi". Ortiz walked 4 times, 3 times intentionally. Shane Victorino, who hit a grand slam to win the Pennant for the Red Sox over the Tigers in Game 6 of the ALCS, rocketed a ball off the Green Monster with the bases loaded to clinch it for the Sox.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

1965 Topps Style 2013 World Series Game 6

Shane Victorino slammed the ball off the Green Monster with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 3rd to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. The Cardinals never recovered and the Sox won the World Series at home for the first time in 95 years.

Monday, October 28, 2013

1964 Topps Style 2013 World Series Game 5

In game 5 Jon Lester pitched another gem, going 7 2/3 innings giving up a single run on 4 hits and no walks. With his scoreless outing in game 1, he has a Series ERA of 0.59, 2 wins and 15 strikeouts. If the Red Sox go on to win the Series he is a serious contender for the World Series MVP.

Another contender is David Ortiz. He went 3 for 4 in game 5, and 11 for 15 in the series. He is 2 hits shy of the World Series record for hits. His .733 series batting average is even more impressive when you consider that the rest of the Red Sox have a combined batting average of .151.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

1963 Topps Style 2013 World Series Game 4

In a World Series first, Game 4 ended on a pick-off play at first. Allen Craig, who scored the winning run on the obstruction call to end game 3, singled with 1 ouit in the 9th. Still nursing his injured foot, Kolten Wong came in to pinch run. After Matt Carpenter popped up for out 2, Red Sox closer, Koji Uehara threw to Mike Napoli to pick Wong off and end the game.  The Red Sox tie up the series at 2 games each.

1962 Topps Style 2013 World Series Game 3

To quote Stephen Colbert "That's the craziest f#?king thing I've ever heard"

Cards and Red Sox were tied 4-4 with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th. Yadier Molina was on 3rd, and Allen Craig was on 2nd. Jon Jay grounds to 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia who fires home and nails Molina. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (whose error in game 2 contributed to the Cards' first win) throws past 3rd baseman Will Middlebrooks. After stumbling over Middlebrooks' legs Craig runs home and is tagged out. But umpire Jim Joyce (whose missed call infamously ruined Armando Galarraga's perfect game) ruled correctly "obstruction" and Craig was awarded home plate to end the game.

Now that's...